The objective-first inverse-design algorithm is used to design an ultra-compact optical diode. Based on silicon and air only, this optical diode relies on asymmetric spatial mode conversion between the left and right ports. The first even mode incident from the left port is transmitted to the right port after being converted into an odd mode. On the other hand, same mode incident from the right port is reflected back by the optical diode dielectric structure. The convergence and performance of the algorithm are studied, along with a transform method that converts continuous permittivity medium into a binary material design. The optimal device is studied with full-wave electromagnetic simulations to compare its behavior under right and left incidences, in 2D and 3D settings as well. A parametric study is designed to understand the impact of the design space size and initial conditions on the optimized devices performance. A broadband optical diode behavior is observed after optimization, with a large rejection ratio between the two transmission directions. This illustrates the potential of the objective-first inverse-design method to design ultra-compact broadband photonic devices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas